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Russia Sitting on Massive Diamond Find Since the 1970's

  1. Sep 17, 2012 #1
    http://news.yahoo.com/russia-reveals-shiny-state-secret-awash-diamonds-131212873.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2012 #2
    People spend a lot of money buying diamonds because they don't know what diamonds are. They think diamonds are rare and are made from some magical material that gives them intrinsic worth.

    Now they're even more worthless.
    But people don't care. They'll still take out a loan to buy a diamond ring for someone they'll break up with in a year.
  4. Sep 17, 2012 #3
    so I have no idea how the global diamond market works...

    can someone tell me how big of a deal this is? Are diamonds suddenly worth a lot less now?
  5. Sep 17, 2012 #4
    Interesting how these 'impact' diamonds are 'twice as hard' as the usual gemstones. That alone should peak the interest of use in industry (don't know why my wife would need an unusually hard diamond on her ring..). But the vast amount of diamonds down there is insane!
  6. Sep 17, 2012 #5
    I have my doubts about the validity of the story for now. I believe Fred Weir (author) is using this as the source: http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/521357.html I would have trusted the story more if Fred Weir himself had talked to the institute's director.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  7. Sep 17, 2012 #6
    Is Itar-Tass a suspect news agency?
  8. Sep 17, 2012 #7


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    Diamonds are distributed by a cartel whose goal is to keep prices high.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6186684678299366197 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  9. Sep 18, 2012 #8
    But when only Itar Tass publishes a story and not many mainstream news agencies pick up the story, I will be reluctant to trust it. I am still waiting for bbc to publish the story.
  10. Sep 18, 2012 #9
    It would seem the perpetrator of any hoax or deception would have to be the Russian Government, itself, since Itar-Tass is the "official" news agency:
    The function of any lie here would have to be to mess with de Beers somehow, implying the Russian Government and de Beers are in some secret power struggle over the diamond market.

    Industrial diamonds are extremely important and the article points out that the impact of these diamonds would not be on the price of engagement rings:

  11. Sep 18, 2012 #10


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    I have a hard time believing that Russia has a huge cache of diamonds that are twice as hard as normal ones. Such a cache would have a huge impact on the gem market, since it is necessary to use diamond to facet and polish other diamonds. In fact, we are pretty dependent on the orientation of the diamond dust on the polishing laps to manage to even finish and polish diamonds.
  12. Sep 18, 2012 #11
    They only made a claim yet nothing about what they are planning on doing about the massive diamond find. I find it quite bizarre.
  13. Sep 18, 2012 #12
    It's not about polishing gem quality diamonds at all. The machining process for all metals depends on carbide cutters. Carbide cutters have to be ground sharp with special grinding wheels. Those grinding wheels are "dressed" with diamond dressers. The carbide cutters are additionally honed with diamond abrasives. All machine shops depend on carbide cutters. All manufacturers of carbide cutters depend on diamonds.

    Anytime you need something durable, precise, and sharp in industry, diamonds come into play.

    The video here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/17/russian-diamonds-siberian-meteorite-crater-carats_n_1891691.html [Broken]

    quotes a russian scientist as saying:

    "…they were created from the force of an asteroid striking Siberia's graphite deposit 35 million years ago. These uncut gemstones are particularly large and abrasive…"

    If Russia actually has enough 2x hard diamonds to last 3000 years they could easily monopolize the diamond element of the machine tool industry. I suppose the question is: if a diamond is twice as hard how much longer does it last as a wheel dresser and how much more would industry pay for it? Also, since time is money, how much faster can you dress a wheel with a 2x hardness diamond? And, since the diamond dressers would be harder, how much harder could you make the grinding wheels for the carbide so the carbide could be sharpened faster? Many questions arise on the effect this would have on the carbide cutter industry and everything down the line, which is just about all industry.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  14. Sep 18, 2012 #13


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    Yes, there could a huge hoard of low grade industrial diamonds, but...

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  15. Sep 18, 2012 #14
    Ultra-high grade, not low grade. The 2x hardness and large size would make them superior to all man made industrial diamonds.

    These aren't volcanic diamonds where a lot of dirt has to be sifted for each diamond found. If it's true an asteroid hit a graphite deposit the percentage of diamonds per dross could be amazingly high, making mining economically more viable than manufacturing them.
  16. Sep 18, 2012 #15


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    We currently have man made "harder than diamond" materials, and the technology just keeps improving, although not viable right now.


    So, it depends on how much mining the diamonds in siberia would cost, compared to any benefits over the current man made ones.
  17. Sep 18, 2012 #16
    Yes. This is apparently what Russia hasn't sorted out yet. One article said they're going to dispatch scientists to re-evaluate the site. That, of course, makes the whole announcement premature and possibly "bizarre" as rootX characterized it. What could be the point of boasting about a resource you don't know you can use? Who would they be trying to impress or bluff? I don't know.
  18. Sep 18, 2012 #17


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    I have a hard time with this. How can Russia have a huge cache of diamonds that are "twice as hard" as regular diamonds? Did they manage to repeal physical laws to get these magical diamonds?

    We should wait for any extraordinary claims to be evaluated. I hold out no hope for the hype to be upheld.
  19. Sep 18, 2012 #18
    Something to do with lack of homogeneity, it looks like:

  20. Sep 18, 2012 #19


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    **Random misogynistic sentiment**

    Moving on:

    An unreliable Soviet wealth claim? Well, I never!

    Still, it would be cool if someone broke DeBeers. I can think of all sorts of things that could be made better if made of/coated with diamonds.
    Not the news report, the original Soviet report it is about. The Soviets (and now the Chinese) were notorious for embellishing official reports on all sorts of things.

    Regarding gem vs industrial: wouldn't the De Beers hold on gem diamonds also adversely affect the industrial market? And vice versa? Or are the markets really that far apart?
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  21. Sep 19, 2012 #20
    Industrial diamonds cost peanuts compared to gem quality. To the extent de Beers deals in industrials it's only because they find them in the course of looking for gem quality stones and since they have them they might as well sell them. As the article Evo posted pointed out, it's now cheaper to make industrial diamonds than it would be to mine them.

    This Russian deposit is different than normal volcanic diamonds, though: it's caused by an asteroid impacting a graphite deposit. This may mean it's cost effective to mine the diamonds for industry.
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